James Neesham has found new hope in World Cup 2019 and he is making it count

Neesham has already made an impact in the ongoing World Cup with a five-wicket haul.

James Neesham
James Neesham. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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For New Zealand batting all-rounder James Neesham, the ongoing Cricket World Cup has been a platform of rebirth. Eighteen months ago, he was contemplating quitting the game because of poor form and injuries but at the moment, he is enjoying his stint at the showpiece event. Neesham picked his maiden international five-wicket haul against Afghanistan in New Zealand’s last match in the World Cup on June 8.

The 28-year-old who has a strike rate of 100 plus in ODIs and 50 wickets in his kitty, is having a great time in his maiden World Cup and was looking forward to his team’s clash with South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday. The Black Caps are playing a game in the tournament after a gap of 11 days as their match against India at Trent Bridge was washed out. New Zealand have seven points from four games at the moment and are yet to lose a game, along with India.

“I feel like I am playing with house money in the casino now, from where I was 18 months ago. I know for a fact that no one thought I was going to play for New Zealand again. So it’s great to be back and I really feel like I have nothing to lose,” Neesham was quoted as saying by the ICC.

Neesham was heartbroken after having missed the 2015 WC at home

He had almost made the decision to call it time on his cricketing career marred by poor form and injuries and it was Heath Mills, the chief executive officer of the New Zealand Players Association who had convinced Neesham to reconsider it. The Auckland-born cricketer was devastated after Grant Elliott was preferred over him for the 2015 World Cup squad although the latter played his role towards the business end of the tournament in which the Kiwis ended as the runners-up.

“2015 to 2018 are gone now and there is no way I can get them back. There are some effects what happened in that period but I have a wealth of experience moving forward,” Neesham added.

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He is one of the few bowlers to have picked a fifer in the ongoing World Cup along with the likes of Mohammad Amir and Mitchell Starc who are more specialised bowlers, said he now knows how to get the best out of himself and was proud in the way he bounced back.